The Times has an interesting article out today on the success McDonald’s has had over the past few years in changing public perception of its brand and bringing people back into the restaurant who might have written it off years ago as unhealthy and animal-unfriendly.
By revamping their business model, offering more health-conscious and high-end products (white meat chicken nuggets, apple slices and lattes) and improving the way they handle drive-thru customers, McDonald’s has been able to succeed in an economy that has seen so many other businesses suffer or fail completely. Indeed, along with Wal-Mart, it was only one of two companies whose Dow Jones share price rose in 2008. That’s pretty remarkable.
I’m no big fan of McDonald’s — but there is something to watching a company recognize its shortcomings and make a sustainable push toward revitatlization. So many companies fail to self-examine; in a market like this it’s essential to be creative and self-aware. The alternative is watching the whole thing go down the tubes (I’m thinking in particular of Borders, which saw its stock fall so low that its in danger of being de-listed, and the response from management was: we’ll survive because people are brand-loyal to us…which I believe is completely untrue, but I digress).
So, props to Mickey D’s for finally getting it right and here’s to hoping they continue to do so, for the sake of the McNugget, the McFlurry and the American economy. We’ll need some place to eat at the apocalypse.